Alarplasty or Nostril Surgery Sydney NSW

Nostril surgery, also known as alarplasty or alar base reduction, is a procedure that can reposition nostrils that are wider than the patient would ideally like. This procedure is also performed if the patient is seeking augmentation or a change in the aesthetics of the nostrils. Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) performs this procedure in his clinics in Sydney NSW. It may involve reducing the size of your nostrils, reshaping the nostril openings, or adjusting the position of your nostrils.

What is an Alarplasty?

Alarplasty or alar trimming is a surgical procedure that reduces the size and width of your nostrils. During the procedure, incisions are made at the base of the nostrils or within the natural creases of the nostrils. Excess tissue is then removed from the nostrils. Depending on your nose condition, adjustment of the internal structures of the nose can also be performed.

About the Alarplasty Procedure

After the initial consultation, Dr Scott Turner may suggest a nostril reduction procedure. He will then provide you with pre-operative instructions for you to prepare for the surgery.

During the alarplasty procedure, Dr Turner will mark exactly where the incisions will be made. Depending on your nose condition, incisions will be created along the natural creases or margins of your nostrils.

Dr Turner will then remove a wedge of the nostrils at the very base of the nose. This way, the incisions will be hidden by the face’s natural contour and will be concealed as much as possible. He will then remove the wedge of the nostril tissue and continue with the sutures. The entire alarplasty procedure usually takes less than 1 hour but this will depend on the condition of your nose and the surgeon’s skills and techniques.

Dr Scott Turner will place the sutures both inside and outside the nostril. The internal sutures are absorbable and will fall off on their own after several weeks. The external sutures will stay in place for one to two weeks and will fall off on their own as well.

Recovery After Alarplasty

Recovery from alarplasty will vary from patient to patient due to variations in the amount of tissue removed, the surgical techniques used, and individual healing capacity.

Here’s what to expect during nostril reduction recovery:

  • After 24-48 hours, you will be able to gradually return to your daily activities.
  • After a week, your surgeon will remove the sutures if they are non-dissolvable. If they are self-dissolvable, they will fall off on their own.
  • After 10-14 days, you can return to work but make sure to avoid strenuous activities and contract sports.
  • After two weeks, you can resume exercise.
  • After one month, you can return to more strenuous activities, such as lifting and swimming.

Management of Scars After Alarplasty

To address scars after alarplasty, you should:

  • Avoid unhealthy diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol drinking.
  • Avoid too much nose movements in the first few days after nostril reduction surgery.
  • Keep the scar clean and well moisturised.
  • Use a silicone-based scar cream.
  • Use SPF 30+ whenever you go outdoors. Do not expose the scar to direct sunlight.

Am I a Suitable Candidate for Nostril Surgery?

You may be a suitable candidate for nose surgery if:

  • You do not have problems with the internal function of your nose.
  • You want to address wide or narrow nostrils.
  • You are a non-smoker or are willing to quit several weeks before and after your alarplasty procedure.
  • You have realistic expectations.

Risk & Complications of Nostril Surgery

As with any surgery, there are also risks and complications associated with nostril surgery, such as:

  • Abnormal scarring
  • Allergies or reactions to medications, sutures, or topical treatments
  • Bleeding or haematoma
  • Chronic pain and numbness
  • Delayed healing
  • Loss of structural support and collapse of the nasal airways during breathing
  • Nasal breathing alterations
  • Prolonged visible swelling that may last for weeks and sometimes months
  • Reddening of the nasal skin
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Revision surgery
  • Wound infection